Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Letter from 'Nam

from Action Comics #382, November 1969

I am immediately skeptical of most things, which I consider a positive survival trait (my friends say I am cynical..but they have the glass-is-half-empty kind of personalities), so when I read this letter purportedly sent in on behalf of his squad from a marine serving in Viet Nam, I immediately thought of this and this.

Note the self-comparison of their mission to the Legion of Super-Heroes. They were also teen-agers out to save the world (but really, they just enforced the status quo). An unfortunate comparison. Is that real irony or Alanis Morrisette irony? I can never tell.

Given the seriousness of the soldiers' location the comic book referenced response from Editor Mort Weisinger to the 'unsolicited' missive seems a little inappropriate but was likely sincere. It also seems carefully neutral since you couldn't expect too much overt in-depth political & social commentary either pro or con in a comic book of the era...yet. That was still over the horizon a bit.


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